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Legislative Training: A Pathway to Citizenship for Farm Workers!

On July 18, the YAYA training focused on talking to lawmakers effectively, focusing on the question: “Why would and should they care about the issue you are presenting to them?” The rest becomes the details that can aid in persuading your legislator to take actions for the issues.

The reason for the training was not just to learn how to lobby but how to apply these techniques to the “Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017” bill that can potentially have a tremendous impact on farm worker communities. This bill’s purposes to provide a way to citizenship as well as a legal status that will benefit them and their families. They will no longer have to worry being at risk of deportation.

The second half of the training was incredibly insightful as we practiced using mock meetings with our representatives. One team would be given the representative on our side and the second would need to convince the more “hostile” representative. We learned which roles were necessary for the meeting and ways to direct the conversation in the direction we wanted it to go. This legislative training was incredibly helpful, and I feel much more prepared to lobby for the issues I care about using these techniques.

A shout out those individuals for participating and a huge thank you as well to Anna Eskamani, the regional director of Planned Parenthood, for leading this training session!

-Stephanie Melendez


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